Egyptian Lentil soup with crispy chickpeas and fresh baked roti

Egyption Lintel soup with rotiIn my search for a good lentil soup recipe, I have tried a few good ones but this recipe beats them all. Far from bland, it has a spicy kick and a acidic touch from the lemon.

This recipe is a big batch, and is great to make if you don’t have a lot of time during the week – you can eat it as a soup or eat it as a sauce on your rice the next day with some roasted zucchini, onions, broccoli, or chicken on the side. I brought it for lunch and it was even better the next day.

lintel soup ingredients

Egyptian Red Lentil Soup
(adapted from Food & Wine magazine and “These peas are Hollow”)

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 celery ribs, diced
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon hot curry powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional if you like it spicy)
  • 8 cups (2 liter) of vegetable stock (you can also use water)
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) of diced tomatoes (I prefer to use whole peeled tomatoes from San Marzano. Add the juices and tear the tomatoes apart with your hands)
  • 2 cups (14 ounces) red lentils
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Greek yogurt or plain yogurt mixed with lemon juice

You can also add:
Roasted garbanzo beans (chick peas)
Chopped cilantro or chives
Sliced Avocado

Serve with any type of bread (or better yet homemade roti, see recipe here) and lemon wedges on the side for a more spicy and sour flavor.


Lentil Soup:

  1. In a large stockpot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, carrots, and garlic and sauté until soft, about 10-15 minutes. Add the cumin, coriander, chili powder, and curry powder, and stir to coat the veggies. Cook for a few minutes to toast the spices.
  2. Add the tomatoes and the stock and bring to a simmer. Season generously with salt and pepper and add the lentils. Simmer for about 30-40 minutes, until lentils and vegetables are very soft. 
  3. While the soup is cooking, you can make the roasted garbanzo beans and the roti
  4. Using your hand held blender, puree the soup; you can do it directly in the pot, as it is much easier than transferring your soup in small batches into a blender. Season with salt and pepper. If you like it a bit spicier, you can add a little cayenne pepper and more black pepper.
  5. Serve with roti and top with a bit of yogurt mixed with lemon juice. You can also garnish the soup with some roasted chickpeas, avocado and fresh cilantro. Be a little creative and add your own touch to your lentil soup.

Roasted Garbanzo Beans (Chick Peas):
Roasted chickpeas are simple and easy to make and you don’t really need a recipe to make them.

  1. Open a can of chickpeas, rinse and dry them, and toss them with some olive oil and your favorite spices (you can also use the same spices as the lentil soup recipe).
  2. Roast them on a baking sheet in a hot oven (400 oF) until they are crispy.

Spicy chickpeas

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